This pumpkin carrot pasta sauce is creamy and delicious. With notes of pumpkin, cinnamon, cream cheese, and sage, it’s comforting and at the same time packed with nutritious vegetables. It’s a fall staple in our house!
This pumpkin carrot pasta sauce is delicious and comforting while also packed with veggies. Keep reading to see how I use this easy fall recipe to make a nutritious pumpkin pasta meal, perfect for babies or toddlers.
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CRAVING FALL RECIPES
With fall in full swing here, I’ve been making all my recipes with pumpkin and other fall squashes. They’re just so delicious!
Recently I shared a bison-stuffed acorn squash recipe and I was surprised with all the responses I got on it. Lots of people said they make stuffed acorn squash, and they shared how they do it. So I’m not alone in thinking squashes are the best fall food, for sure!
Yesterday at the grocery store I picked up even more pumpkins and butternut squashes. Don’t you love seeing squashes on your countertop or kitchen cabinets? They’re beautiful. And, when you’re hungry, you just slice ’em up with a knife and dive right in!
If you’ve never made your own homemade pumpkin puree, it’s a must in our house – I encourage you to try it! You follow the same process for butternut squash as well.
My recommendation is to buy (or grow yourself) several pumpkins and spend an afternoon chopping them up for roasting. Then puree them, and you have homemade pumpkin puree. Store it in the freezer in different size containers and pull it out when you want to use it.
And our newest favorite, pumpkin carrot pasta sauce.
INSPIRATION FOR PUMPKIN CARROT PASTA SAUCE
This recipe was inspired by my 15 month old baby girl. Thank you Allison, for eating so much food that Mommy has to start meal prepping for you in advance now! Yes that’s right, this recipe is used as baby food in our house.
My goal when I feed my baby is to have her eating the same foods as we do! But the problem with this is that she’s often hungry at different times than us, making it difficult for me to get her those meals. She can’t exactly wait to eat, or help me cook, so when she’s hungry, she needs food ASAP.
So I figured out a solution: make a few recipes that my husband and I would normally eat, but make them just for Allison, and then freeze them in portion sizes. Then I just throw them on the stove to thaw out and boom, a homemade, healthy, and delicious meal ready for her in just a few minutes.
Side note: the hardest part about this whole “meal prepping for baby” thing? The fact that you have to resist eating it yourself. Yesterday my husband walked into the kitchen and said “that smells delicious, can’t wait to eat whatever it is!” Unfortunately, all of it was going in the freezer for Allison!
So, I’m super excited about this! And stay tuned, I will share more recipes like this soon. I don’t know whether to call them “baby freezer meal prep recipes”, or just title them what they are. In this case, this is a pumpkin carrot spaghetti sauce. But babies also love it. So, doesn’t get much better than that!
HEALTH BENEFITS OF PUMPKIN
I’m so happy that my daughter seems to love pumpkin, because it is so good for her! Pumpkins are packed with beta carotine. Your body changes this to vitamin A which helps you ward off germs (perfect for this time of year!). Additionally, pumpkins offer vitamin C, vitamin E, iron, and folate – all of which also strengthen your immune system. This is the time of year when a lot of sickness starts going around, so I love knowing the meals I feed my daughter can help strengthen her immune system.
Pumpkins are high in fiber and low in calories. This is great for us adults who are wanting to feel our best and fuel our bodies with nutritious meals. Meals including pumpkin can make you feel full without adding to your overall food intake for the day. If you’re looking for a healthy way to fill up, nutrient-rich pumpkin is a good go-to choice. The fiber uptick in your diet promotes digestive health, too!
Check out this post on WebMD for more fascinating health benefits of pumpkin.
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Stainless steel stockpot or saucepan
Immersion Blender (if you don’t have one, you can transfer the mixture into a blender or food processor)
Large chopping knife
PUMPKIN PASTA SAUCE INGREDIENTS
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 an onion, chopped
1 cup chopped carrots (about 3 small to medium size carrots)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup homemade pumpkin purée (canned is fine too!)
1/2 cup bone broth (homemade is best! Try my homemade bone broth recipe)
4 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
2 tbsp heavy cream
1/2 tsp salt
Pepper to taste
2 tbsp chopped sage
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Heat a stainless steel stovetop pot over medium heat and add the olive oil. Then add the onion and carrots and sauté about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Next add the garlic and sauté about 5 more minutes. You want the carrots to be soft at this point.
Next turn the heat off and add the pumpkin puree and bone broth, and stir. Using an immersion blender, blend everything together until a sauce forms. You may need to add more bone broth if it looks too thick or isn’t coming together.
Next turn the heat to low and add the remaining ingredients and spices. Stir frequently until a smooth, thick sauce comes together.
Pour over pasta or spaghetti and enjoy! You can also add a ground meat with this, or freeze it for later.
What meat goes well with pumpkin?
You can use just about any meat with pumpkin, from beef, to lamb, pork, or even chicken. Pumpkin is a versatile, sweet flavor that can be spiced appropriately to compliment many different meats. Try it in this pumpkin chili recipe with lamb, or pour this pumpkin carrot pasta sauce over ground meat with spaghetti. Our favorite spaghetti meats are ground beef, bison, lamb, elk, and venison, and they are all delicious with this pumpkin sauce!
Why put a carrot in spaghetti sauce?
Carrot adds a naturally sweet flavor to whatever dish its in, making it the perfect ingredient for many soups and sauces. Perhaps this is why my baby loves this pumpkin carrot pasta sauce so much!
How do you combine veggies for a pasta sauce?
For a thick and creamy pasta sauce, use an immersion blender to combine the veggies into a sauce. Don’t forget to soften the veggies first though, by sautéing them on the stove or roasting them in the oven. The immersion blender is a true life savor, if you have never used one before. It’s how I make butternut squash soup, pumpkin chili and anything that requires a thick pureed texture. And its easy to use, easy to clean, and easy to store away, which is great!
How do you make homemade pumpkin puree?
Start by cutting the top off of a sugar pie pumpkin and taking the seeds out. Then use a squash peeler to peel the skin off the pumpkin. Next you’ll chop the pumpkin up into cubes and place them on a parchment-lined baking tray. Use a food brush to brush avocado oil over the pumpkin cubes, and drizzle with salt if desired. Roast at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until soft. Lastly, let the roasted pumpkin cool and then puree it using a food processor. Voila! A lot of work but it gets you a huge yield of pumpkin puree to enjoy all season long 🙂 For the full tutorial and video, see homemade pumpkin puree.
MORE EASY LUNCH AND DINNER IDEAS FROM THE HOMESTEAD
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 an onion, chopped
- 1 cup chopped carrots (about 3 small to medium size carrots)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup homemade pumpkin purée (canned is fine too!)
- 1/2 cup bone broth (homemade is best! Try my homemade bone broth recipe)
- 4 oz cream cheese
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
- 2 tbsp heavy cream
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp chopped sage
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- Heat a stainless steel stovetop pot over medium heat and add the olive oil. Then add the onion and carrots and sauté about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Next add the garlic and sauté about 5 more minutes. You want the carrots to be soft at this point.
- Next turn the heat off and add the pumpkin puree and bone broth, and stir. Using an immersion blender, blend everything together until a sauce forms. You may need to add more bone broth if it looks too thick or isn’t coming together.
- Next turn the heat to low and add the remaining ingredients and spices. Stir frequently until a smooth, thick sauce comes together.
- Pour over pasta or spaghetti and enjoy! You can also add a ground meat with this, or freeze it for later.
Any meat goes great with this - try ground bison, elk, venison, or beef. This also freezes very well and makes great homemade baby food!